Cool Calc Manual V2.1 (DCNE, www.coolcalc.com) is designed to streamline the use of Manual J calculations to determine the capacity of HVAC equipment when designing a home HVAC system. The app, which is compliant with ANSI/ACCA 8th Ed V2, can be used on any internet-enabled computing device. It allows users to quickly trace a home in Google Maps and obtain all the dimensions of a home’s footprints, ceiling, floor, and wall areas, and building exposures, which are used to perform block load and room-by-room calculations.
Utilizing the year in which the house was built, the software will automatically select the appropriate construction materials based on similar homes in the area and the version of the energy code adopted by that county at the time of construction. The app allows users to model any number of system scenarios, including a ducted versus ductless system or a single large system versus multiple small systems.
The V2.1 version can integrate with third-party solutions, such as magicplan, which leverages the camera on a mobile device and augmented reality to create a floor plan of the home, or into other third-party applications such as eCommerce sites and proposal tools.
There is no cost to create an account for Cool Calc, but there is a sliding fee for downloading or printing the official ACCA Manual J v.8 reports, based on the quantity of reports in the purchased pack.
MarginPoint’s cloud-based collaborative inventory management solution (www.marginpoint.com, 888/229-3685) offers real-time visibility of inventory at all stocking locations, including warehouses and service fleet. Available with an admin interface and as a mobile app (through The App Store or Google Play), it allows management to set minimum and maximum order quantities and approve orders and allows contractors to easily re-tool fleets for different jobs, technicians, or seasons.
Features of the software, which can link to suppliers’ catalogs, include automated replenishment based on actual usage and sales demand, automated demand signals which can be customized to accommodate the desired replenishment method for each stocking location, and the ability to consolidate purchase orders.
Margin Point Inventory also supports product bundling. Users can create pre-set kits for routine repairs or installations and can swap out items to accommodate unique job requirements. The contractor can indicate which items in a bundle are required and which are optional, affording multiple tiered installation options. The product bundling feature also enables instant confirmation that all needed items are available and indicates where they are stored (warehouse, truck, or elsewhere).
The solution, which integrates with QuickBooks, includes functionality for barcode and QR code scanning of assets and can track all inventory usage down to individual workers, jobs, or customers.
The software is subscription based, priced per month/per stocking location (minimum five locations) with unlimited users.
Jobber service management software for HVAC contractors with residential and commercial clients (www.getjobber.com, 888/475-4473, available at Google Play and The App Store) handles quotes, scheduling by day and time on a drag-and-drop calendar by crew or team member, and customizable company-branded invoices that can convert to a work order or job, and payments in the field and online. Quotes can include discounts, requests for deposit, and contract terms.
Users can search full client history by clients, jobs, and invoices. Team members can be alerted to schedule changes with push notifications that pop up on their phones from within the app.
Upon completion of a job, the software issues a reminder to create and send invoices and includes payment tracking (sent, paid, past due). Each invoice is customized and can include make, model, serial number, and part numbers as required. The software can be set up so crew in the field can accept payment on the spot via scanning in of a credit card on a mobile phone.
Customers can also pay online through Jobber’s Client Hub, a self-service option available 24/7 that enables them to view past quotes, invoices, and receipts. If you require customer approval to move forward with new work, you can request a hand-written e-signature when the client checks “approve” on a quote.
The solution, which integrates with QuickBooks Online or Xero, can also manage and invoice maintenance contracts.
Customer service capabilities on the two highest subscription options also include routing and GPS tracking, time tracking of technicians, work requests by customers from within the client hub, on-my-way customer alert text messages, appointment reminder notifications which customers can click to confirm, and follow-up emails to customers. If the contractor sets up the links, customers can request quotes directly from the contractor’s website or social media profile.
Scaled monthly pricing plans reflect the range of the number of users. A free 14-day trial is available.
The new CoolCloud™ smartphone/tablet app for Goodman® and Amana® brand indoor comfort systems (Goodman Manufacturing, www.coolcloudhvac.com, 800/228-4822) allows technicians to wirelessly connect to select energy efficient Goodman® and Amana® brand HVAC systems from a paired device. The app, available free at Google Play and The App Store, allows users to wirelessly diagnose HVAC systems for quick and easy commissioning, configuration, diagnostics, and troubleshooting. CoolCloud also gives access to historic data and notes from previous contractors servicing the unit. The app is companion technology for Goodman’s ComfortBridge™ communicating interface that, mounted inside select high-efficiency Goodman and Amana brand systems, reports data constantly, making automatic adjustments as needed, optimizing performance for energy efficient indoor home comfort.
Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. She can be reached at [email protected].